Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 1996 |

Pinched Nerve

I kept reaching for the "sacred chakra" on top of my head. I'd flex my wrist, my fingers nipping a sore hair and I'd yank it out of its soft socket, listen for the lovely pop the strand would make when released from its puffy pocket. I'd dig   up there as though I'd find fresh air, or gold—the New Age here, and me teetering between young and old— until a stabbing sharp as death, but not as quick, stopped my plumbing for a soothing beyond   the quiet man in front of the TV, for the disappeared lover, his perfect full mouth- sized erection always there and me eternal, peaceful, crooning how beautiful to the world of his face, his torso. In the dream he doesn't tell me his body's hollow with impotency. I drain   his voice out of the phone and carry it with me—trash that cannot be left on any curb. No one will come to pick it up. Outside in the blue bin is just last week's empty bottles and smudged newspapers with their own grim reports. So I rubbed and rubb

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Susan Hahn has published nine books of poetry, two produced plays and a novel. She was the inaugural Writer-in Residence at the Hemingway Foundation in 2013-2014. She has just completed a new fiction manuscript and her new website, www.susanhahnauthor.com, went online last week.

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I kept reaching for the "sacred chakra" on top of my head. I'd flex my wrist, my fingers nipping a sore hair and I'd yank it out of its soft […]

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